S. Brent Plate In episode 9 of the final season of Mad Men, Don Draper sits in his empty Manhattan penthouse, having lost his wife and all his domestic possessions. A few episodes later he is driving his Cadillac through the western states with nothing but a bag of belongings. In the ultimate scene of the penultimate episode he gives his car to a local grifter. These final episodes turn Don into a Dharma Bum, some modern-day bodhisattva eliminating attachments through carefree wandering. He’s straight out of Japhy Ryder’s vision in Jack Kerouac’s 1958 novel Dharma Bums.
Tag Archives: popular culture
By Kelly J. Baker
The patron saint of awkward, idealistic (white) girls lives in my home, a part of our soundscape. The kids and I dance to her music. I place the toddler on my hip and grab the six-year-old’s hand. We shake off our concerns and frustrations together. We laugh at our silly dance moves. We sing along. This is a moment, in which we let everything go and enjoy ourselves.
A. David Lewis is a national lecturer in Comics Studies and an award-winning graphic novelist. He holds a PhD in Religion and Literature from Boston University and is a founding member of Sacred and Sequential. His book, American Comics, Literary Theory, and Religion: The Superhero Afterlife, is now available from Palgrave Macmillan.
Eric Reinders Every Labor Day weekend, more than fifty thousand people gather in Atlanta to talk about, and dress up as, their favorite fantasies. Naturally, there is religion in all this. It’s mostly Christianity, although not always.
In our new interview series, we ask cultural theorists about what inspires them and how their latest work challenges our understanding of the sacred in American cultural life. For this segment, we chatted with LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant about her latest book,
By Ken Chitwood Crosses come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. They are ubiquitous in homes across the United States and pepper the abodes of people throughout the world. Odds are, you have one hanging in your home whether
By S. Brent Plate In the beginning was the Jesus film . . . The birth of cinema dates from the Lumière brother’s first public screening for a paying audience in a Paris café in December 1895. The following decade
Gary Laderman I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s the end of Religion as we know it. And I do feel fine. Bring on the “nones,” the SBNRs (Spiritual But Not Religious for those of you not up to
By S. Brent Plate This is the sign that hangs over the entrance to Disneyland, less than an hour from where I grew up in Southern California. I realize some people save up for years to drive the kids